Going camping or backpacking naturally means you’re going to do without some of life’s little comforts. Does that include sacrificing a cup of hot coffee in the morning? Of course not. Today, most campers take with them compact stoves for cooking and boiling water. Two of the most popular include Jetboil Minimo and Jetboil Flash.
Now, these two products come from the same manufacturer, but their features are markedly different from each other. In this article, you should be able to find out the exact difference, so you’d know exactly what to purchase for your next outdoor adventure.
In terms of fuel efficiency, you can get better results with Minimo. This is primarily because of the fuel regulator that comes with the model. You can increase or decrease the amount of fuel being burned, especially if you don’t actually need it.
If you own a thermos, just top it off with boiling water and then use the stove for simmering – allowing the fuel to be used for a longer period of time.
On Ease of Carriage
Now, both of these models are quite compact and come in one clean part for easy storage. There’s no need to disassemble them each time you decide to set up for the night.
The Minimo weighs roughly 415 grams while the Flash weighs 371 grams so there’s not much difference there. Note though that the fuel stabilizer is a separate weight with the Minimo and Flash both needing a stabilizer of 27 grams. Overall, you should be carrying no more than 500 grams for your stove during backpacking with either of these models.
Is it bulky though? The Minimo has a dimension of 5 by 6 inches while the Flash is 4.1 by 7.1 inches. Again, size-wise, there’s not much difference between these two models.
Ease of Starting a Fire
Both the Jetboil Minimo and Jetboil Flash are operated through a push button system of starting a fire. Make sure to bring a lighter with you though just in case there’s a problem starting a spark. Another important question is whether the fire will hold during windy days.
Upon testing, it shows that the Minimo is better in withstanding the wind. Of course, this problem is easily solved by placing a protective wall to block the force of the wind. If you believe the terrain will be particularly windy, make sure to take the Minimo instead of the Flash.
On Seasonal Use
Minimo is regarded as a four season stove because it can be used in all kinds of weather. In fact, it can be operated in temperatures as low as 20 degrees Celsius. This is primarily thanks to the regulator which is not present in the Jetboil Flash.
If you hike under all kinds of weather and terrain condition, the Minimo is a multi-functional ally. However, if you only hike on certain months of the year, the Flash might be the better option.
Speed and Boiling Capacity
The Flash is named such because it is incredibly quick in boiling water. Upon computation, it shows that the Flash can boil .5 liters of water for 100 seconds. This should be compared to the 2 minutes and 15 seconds of boiling time for the Minimo under the same circumstances.
What about fuel efficiency if all you’re going to do is boil water? Well, after use, it shows that the Minimo is capable of boiling up to 12 liters of water per 100 grams of the Jetpower can. The Flash, in contrast, can boil up to 10 liters of water per 100 grams of fuel.
While you can use the Minimo to boil, there’s really no boil indicator on the stove so you can’t tell when the water is ready for your cup of coffee. Now, you can check on it several times if you want – but opening and closing the lid can quickly add to the boiling time of the water.
In contrast, this is not something you have to worry about the Flash because there is an indicator there that will tell you when things are ready. Still, at the speed of boiling for both models – you should have a hot cup even before you know it.
Most of the designs have a camouflage pattern to them but done in various colors to make them easier to spot. As mentioned, the Minimo is a little wider compared to the Flash’s svelte figure. At the end of the day however, they’re both very easy to carry around with you during hikes.
The use of the stove is really where these two products have a marked difference. Flash is designed ONLY for boiling water. You really can’t do anything else with this particular stove.
Price-wise, there’s really not much difference between the two as they fall below $200 each – including the fuel cap needed to run the unit. Of course, you’re going to have to change that cap often so that’s an ongoing cost for each one.
Fortunately, the cap cost for either one is basically the same so there’s nothing to worry about there. The difference in initial investment between the two is negligible but if you’re aiming for fuel efficiency, the Minimo is obviously the better choice.
Final Word – Jetboil Minimo or Flash?
To wrap it up, Minimo and Flash have their own pros and cons. Your choice would really depend on how you intend to use the stove during your backpacking. If all you need is hot water – the Flash version is your best bet. If you want to simmer and boil however, the Jetboil Minimo would be the better choice.
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